A disturbing video of an exorcism performed in Bangladesh has resurfaced on Twitter with a false claim that it shows a Hindu woman being forcibly converted to Islam, in West Bengal. The distressing 16 seconds video shows a woman seated on the floor undergoing the ritual. A man (not seen in the in the frame) appears to threaten her with a knife. The video has been shared on Twitter with a text edited on it, “This is what a forced conversion looks like by peaceful religion in Bengal. #StopConversion Save Kafirs.” BOOM received the video on its helpline for verification.
The same video was viral in 2019 and 2021 with claims that it shows a conversion in Kerala and West Bengal, respectively. BOOM had then found a longer version of the video uploaded on YouTube on January 19, 2019, with a caption in Bangla that says, 'This is the best video of exorcism. See how a Hindu Jinn is converted to Islam.' BOOM had earlier reached out to a fact-checking organisation in Bangladesh, which confirmed that the video is old and the ritual is that of an exorcism, a common practice in rural Bangladesh. "In the video the woman can be heard saying 'bol r aitam na' (Say that you are not coming). This is traditional rural Noakhali dialect", a fact-checker confirmed to us. "The woman is a Muslim because observe the fluency in which she chants the Arbi Surrah, he added.